I want to volunteer
If you have some time on your hands and want to volunteer for the Society then we would like to hear from you!
An enormous range of interesting and rewarding opportunities await you:
- Stewarding in the Museum/Gallery and working on Reception
- Assisting in the Visitor Information Centre/Shops
- Helping ‘behind the scenes’ with collections & archives work or research
- Entering data onto our computer databases and catalogues
- Researching and producing specialist literature – historically themed leaflets & booklets
- Helping with specific projects e.g. the annual Open Gardens Day or Open Houses Schemes
- Joining our Learning Team to develop new activities or jump in the deep end and help to deliver them!
- Assisting with fundraising activities
- Contributing to the administration of the Society
If you want to learn more, then please contact us with your details and a note of your skills and experience e.g. computer skills, as well as some idea of the kind of work you’d like to get involved with – working behind the scenes or contact with the public, etc.
Some of our volunteers
I recently graduated with a degree in Graphic Arts & Design from Leeds. After organising a design symposium with fellow students during my final year I became interested in the idea of curation, exhibition design and interpretation. I have always been interested in art and history and am currently volunteering at three museums including the Fleur de Lis to gain experience in this sector. As part of my ‘internship’ at the Fleur de Lis I have learnt about the process of accessioning museum objects but my main focus is assisting with the planning, research and curation of Into The Light (part II) - an exhibition highlighting objects from the museum collection rarely on view to the public. I am thoroughly enjoying my time at the museum and am gaining a valuable insight into the way a small local museum is run. In addition, everyone is very friendly and I have made some useful contacts through this volunteering.
Although I had lived and worked as a teacher in the town for nearly 30 years, it wasn't until I retired that I joined The Faversham Society and became a volunteer - initially in the museum and now in the Visitor Information Centre. I realised I’d never been in the museum. Once inside I discovered how extraordinary it is - it’s like a tardis, much bigger than you’d dream from the outside. The museum is a wonderful resource for the town, charting Faversham’s fantastic history and celebrating what an interesting place it is to live. I enjoy being part of what keeps The Society moving forward. I have learnt so much about the town itself and met a lot of new people who volunteer at all sorts of different levels - there’s a lot of flexibility in the hours you can do. It's a real community here!
Returning to Kent in 1972 after a decade in Dorset, my husband thought life membership to the Faversham Society might provide a new interest. But not until the 400th anniversary of ‘Arden of Feversham’ in 1992 did I become seriously involved, when a group of town councillors and Faversham Society members decided to commemorate the play’s anniversary with a summer-long exhibition in the Guildhall, a performance of the play in the garden of Arden’s House, and a launch of Patricia Hyde’s book Thomas Arden in Faversham: the Man behind the Myth . Then came the opportunity to re-open the Maison Dieu at Ospringe, where the Society’s first museum had opened in the 1970s. As ever, there was no budget and friends had to be found so I took up the challenge and have been raising funds for the Faversham Society ever since. In 1996, the Society was offered the chance to buy 10 and 11 Preston Street. Negotiations were opened with the new Heritage Lottery Fund, and Swale Borough Council guaranteed the purchase, achieved in December, 1999. Restoration and integration work on 10, 11 and 13 began in 2000, and the next year an anonymous gift allowed the purchase of number 12. Completion of the whole site in 2012 coincided with the Faversham Society’s golden jubilee. The project has cost almost £2 million, half of which has come from lottery and landfill tax funding. A further £200,000 has been raised by member support and activities over 15 years; the remainder has come from trusts and local authorities that continue to support us. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed raising funds for the Society over these years and have made a lot of interesting contacts. It does involve a lot of work as many applications and approaches for funding are not successful, but we seem to be successful enough and continue to invest in the development of the Society and its important work.
Following early retirement, I have been involved with the Faversham Society for a number of years now and have had several roles - Stewarding in the Museum & Gallery, now managing the Fleur Gallery and, more recently, helping to run the Society as a Board Member. There is never a dull moment and I've been able to bring a lot of my previous professional experience to bear on my work here. There's a wide range of people work here - some for a few hours a week and some for most of the week - so I've met quite a lot of new and interesting people. We all share an interest in Faversham's amazing history and it's always a pleasure to pass this onto our visitors. Whether I'm working just a few hours a week or contributing to overall planning and policy, I get a real sense of pride in our town and hope the Society's work continues to nourish an understanding of our unique heritage.